Jodie Foster is back and already with a Golden Globe Nomination today for her performance in “Carnage” which opens Friday, December 16th. She’s up against her own co-star in the film, Kate Winslet.
I grew up with Jodie watching films like “Taxi Driver”, “Freaky Friday” and “Hotel New Hampshire”. Then I watched her graduate to becoming the most indelible actors of this century. Through her career she has given such high-powered performances that she stands alone. There is no one to touch her. So few actors can really dive into the kinds of characters that the ones I’ve listed here can. Every film Jodie has made has been watchable from “The Silence of the Lambs”, “Maverick”, “Nell”, “Contact” and “Anna and the King”.
She’s also one of the most skilled performers who can convey fright, intensity, strength and vulnerability all without batting an eyelash. She’s untrained and has never taken an acting class in her life. That says something to all the wannabe’s out there who are overly trained it shows on screen.
In fact, it’s been well documented that these unknown’s who are privileged enough to work on a Jodie Foster film watch her method on set and attempt to mimic it hoping to catch some of that magic she so easily brings to a movie.
Her biggest films of all time came when she entered her 40’s. She became the new action star in films like “Panic Room”, “Flightplan” and “The Brave One”, all becoming her biggest theatrical grossing films of her career.
How can you forget her little directorial films like “Little Man Tate”, “Home for the Holidays” and “The Beaver”. The latter had its own drama within a drama as it stars Mel Gibson in one of his greatest performances. Unfortunately the studio wouldn’t green light the film so Jodie said she’ll star in it too as collateral. They gave her the green light.
Now she’s back in a starring role alongside a great cast that includes the great Kate Winslet in Roman Polanski’s “Carnage”
Carnage, which also stars Christopher Waltz and John C. Reilly as the women’s husbands tells the story of two sets of parents who decide to have a cordial meeting after their sons are involved in a schoolyard brawl. The meeting becomes less cordial as the film progresses.
We are drawn, step by step, into the hell of other people’s lives. The four people in Carnage come face to face with the hell of their own lives, slowly tearing one another, and themselves, to shreds.
From the opening scene, Foster’s rigid, razor-like smile, the staring eyes, the twists and contortions of her upper body, her heroic attempts to convey politically correct, civilized behavior, betray, instead, the symptoms of volcanic rage and despair.
At one point she says, in a quiet, introspective moment, ‘Why is everything so exhausting?’ I think I know how she feels.
As the film story unfolds, she is confronted by the power of her own darkness. She gradually, inexorably comes apart at the seams, releasing colossal fountains of pent-up hatred. All is left for her is the desolation of lost hopes and aspirations.
Is she or isn’t she? I think we can all put that answer to rest. Like Jeremy Renner these are intelligent powerful artists of the craft and simply want to do the work without you worrying about whose in their bedroom. I agree. Incidentally Jodie donated the largest donation on record to the Trevor Project which is a gay suicidal hotline for teens.